Structural change poses major challenges for some regions, among them Lusatia, a former lignite mining region. “The Brandenburg state government, in close cooperation with the Saxon state government, wants to give additional impetus and more momentum to structural development in Lusatia and develop it into a model region for structural change,” the state of Brandenburg says on its website.
How can these goals be achieved? By counteracting the exodus of young families in particular with modern educational offers; for example, with a school according to the latest pedagogical findings and with high architectural standards. We have built such a school for Lusatia: the primary school section of an inclusive school centre in Döbern. Three storeys, two parallel classes per year for 360 pupils.
School construction as an impulse for regions undergoing structural change
On the edge of the Lusatian town, the existing secondary school was extended by a building for primary education to create an inclusive school centre. It is a monolithic, three-storey building with a distinct volume, whose recesses on the ground-floor accentuate the entrance and school hall. These recesses and the materiality of the facade clad with coal-fired facing bricks create a regional reference to the former mining region. While a forecourt opens up towards the street, the multi-purpose room, which serves as a school hall and dining room for the entire school centre, overlooks the open landscape. On the two upper floors, the classrooms and group rooms are arranged around two atriums. The rooms can be used in different combinations, allowing the building to accommodate flexible forms of teaching, even outside in the green classroom and on detached learning islands.
Great flexibility for new and changing pedagogical concepts
‘Chalk & Talk’ teaching is a thing of the past. Today, learning takes place in clusters and not just in the classroom, but everywhere whenever possible. The floor plan of the new building offers great flexibility for new and changing pedagogical concepts. Two green classrooms and inner courtyards also allow for outdoor lessons. The wide corridors and staircases become places of communication and learning. The classrooms for grades 1 and 2 as well as all subject-specific rooms are located on the first floor, while the classrooms for grades 3 to 6 are on the second floor. In addition to the green classrooms, the outdoor facilities offer plenty of space for a spacious schoolyard with various play and recreational facilities. Because at some point, children need a break even from the best of learning.
Educational buildings are an investment in the future.
In keeping with the holistic nature of the planning process, Sehw is once again responsible as general planner for all planning disciplines and across all service phases. We are pleased to have played our part as the general planning team in creating space in Döbern for learning and teaching according to the most advanced pedagogical concepts.
Educational buildings are an investment in the future and, for us architects, a particularly meaningful planning task. This project is a prime example of how joint efforts can create added value for society.